Narasimha Temple Dhom (Wai)

5 Things To Do in Wai (2024)

Discover Wai’s top activities and attractions, a charming destination brimming with cultural and natural wonders. Explore historic temples, indulge in serene nature walks, savour local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this picturesque town nestled amidst the Sahyadri mountains. Whether you’re seeking spiritual solace or outdoor adventures, there are many things to do in Wai.

I’ll admit, before my visit to Wai, the name didn’t ring a bell. Despite its appearances in numerous Bollywood and Marathi films, including one starring Shah Rukh Khan, this quaint town had somehow escaped my attention. Only through my association with the Redstone Resort that I stumbled upon Wai and felt compelled to explore this remarkably scenic destination nestled in Maharashtra.

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PIN for later reference – Things To Do in Wai

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  • For any adventurous activities, please note that there is a risk that can be dangerous. Ensure you read the terms and conditions recommended by individual agencies and do them at your own risk.
  • For visas, it is best to see the embassy website for changing rules.
  • While using the recommended guides, auto-drivers or taxi drivers, do your due diligence and trust your judgement.

About Wai

Wai, situated in the Satara district of Maharashtra, India, is a quaint town renowned for its many temples, earning it the moniker “Dakshin Kashi.” Nestled along the banks of the Krishna River, Wai boasts a rich historical significance, particularly during the Peshwa era. It served as the ancestral home to two prominent Maratha Brahmin families, including Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi and Gopikabai, wife of Nansaheb Peshwa.

Wai has gained widespread recognition due to its role as a backdrop for numerous Bollywood and Marathi films. Among the notable movies shot here are Chennai Express, Singham, Omkara, Ishqiya, and Dabang, further adding to its cultural allure and cinematic charm.

5 Things To Do in Wai

Visit Dholya Ganapati

In Wai, the Dholya Ganapati, also known as the Mahaganapati temple, houses a massive single-stone idol. Aptly named “Dholya”, meaning “fatty,” the idol is adorned in vibrant orange hues. Positioned along the serene banks of the Krishna River, this sacred site boasts a rich history spanning over 250 years.

Admission to the temple is free, and it welcomes visitors every day from 6 AM to 9 PM. However, please note that photography inside the temple premises is strictly prohibited.

Ganapati Temple Wai
Ganapati Temple

Eat Strawberries with Cream at Mapro Gardens

Established in 1959, Mapro Garden is owned by the renowned Mapro food processing company. This delightful destination allows visitors to savour the region’s famed strawberries with cream. With its popularity drawing in numerous repeat customers, Mapro Garden has become a beloved spot for locals and tourists.

Operating hours are from 9 AM to 8 PM daily, and patrons pay based on their purchases, ensuring a flexible and enjoyable experience.

Go Back in Time at Nana Fadnavis Wada

Located in the picturesque Menavali village along the banks of the River Krishna stands the Nana Fadnavis Wada, an ancient mansion dating back to 1780. Constructed by Nana Fadnavis, a prominent minister and statesman of the Maratha empire during the Peshwa administration in Pune, this grand wada features six quadrangles and is encompassed by a protective perimeter wall.

In Marathi, “wada” signifies a mansion with inner courtyards; this architectural marvel offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Admission to the wada is INR 30 per adult, with daily operating hours from 9 AM to 6:30 PM. Photography is permitted, allowing guests to capture the beauty and heritage of this historic site.

While no complimentary parking is available, parking facilities are provided at a nominal fee of approximately INR 50. Information boards are scattered throughout the wada, offering insights into its various rooms, and volunteers are on hand to provide further explanations, ensuring an enriching experience for visitors.

Menavli or Nana Fadnavis Wada
Menavli or Nana Fadnavis Wada

Pray at Kashi Vishweshwar Temple

Across from the Dholya Ganapati stands the revered Kashi Vishweshwar Temple, a sacred site dedicated to Lord Shiva. Nestled on the banks of the River Krishna, this ancient temple boasts a rich history and spiritual significance. Its main highlight is the Nandi, sculpted from the same stone as the Dholya Ganapati idol.

Admission to the temple is free, welcoming devotees and visitors daily from 6 AM to 9 PM. Photography is permitted within the premises, allowing guests to capture this divine sanctuary’s timeless beauty and reverence.

Kashi Vishwanatha temple (Wai)
Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Pose in Front of the Menavali Ghat

Situated behind the Nana Fadnavis Wada, the Menavali Ghat stands as one of the most picturesque spots in Wai. Adorned with two temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, this ghat exudes a serene ambience that reflects the spiritual essence of the region. Traditionally, temples were constructed on ghats during the Peshwa era, embodying a blend of architectural and religious significance.

Adding to its charm, the ghat features a bell housing a bell weighing six hundred and fifty grams, which Chimaji Appa famously captured from a cathedral in the Portuguese fort at Bassein.

Interestingly, the Menavali Ghat gained cinematic fame as the backdrop for the climactic scene of the Bollywood movie Swades.

Admission to the ghat is free, and visitors can explore its beauty at any time of the day. While photography is restricted, it’s worth noting that numerous movies have been shot here, with images and videos readily available online, adding to the allure and mystique of this historic site.

Menavli or Nana Fadnavis Wada Ghats (Wai)
Menavli or Nana Fadnavis Wada Ghats

Auto Driver Details in Wai

I opted for an auto to navigate through Wai, and my auto driver, Hemant Chowdry, left a lasting impression. His courteous demeanour and attentive service ensured a smooth journey, and he even stayed with me until my bus arrived, demonstrating genuine care for his passengers.

Should you need transportation assistance in Wai, feel free to reach out to Hemant Chowdry:

  • Name: Hemant Chowdry.
  • Contact Number: +91 95958 44522.

It’s advisable to communicate with drivers and locals in Marathi, but Hindi is a reliable alternative for effective communication if you’re not proficient in the language.

Auto driver in Wai
Hemant Chowdry with his auto

Where to Stay in Wai?

Located just 18 kilometres, or a 20-minute drive, from Wai’s main town, The Redstone Resort offers a tranquil retreat amidst nature. This idyllic resort provides guests with a blend of luxury and affordability, making it an ideal choice for travellers seeking a comfortable stay.

Click here to check for prices on the Agoda website

Set amidst picturesque surroundings, guests can enjoy a serene atmosphere and modern amenities, ensuring a memorable and relaxing experience during their visit to Wai.

How to Get to Wai?

By Air

The nearest airport to Wai is Pune International Airport, which is approximately 95 kilometres from the town. Travelers can reach Wai by either driving or taking public transportation from the airport. Pune International Airport is a hub for various domestic and international airlines, including affordable options such as SpiceJet and Indigo Airways.

Alternatively, Mumbai International Airport is situated around 230 kilometres away from Wai.

By Road from Pune

Wai is approximately 85 kilometres from Pune, with a travel time of about 2 hours by road. The route includes toll roads, ensuring a smooth and efficient journey between the two destinations.

By Road from Mumbai

Wai is situated roughly 230 kilometres away from Mumbai, with a road journey spanning approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes. Travellers typically traverse the Bangalore-Mumbai highway route, ensuring a scenic and well-connected passage between the two destinations.

By Public Transport

Travellers can find regular government and privately operated buses connecting Pune/Mumbai to Wai. Opting for buses operated by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is advisable for reliable service.

Alternatively, private operators like Shreyas Travels offer convenient options, with a one-way ticket costing around INR 410. The bus journey typically takes approximately 2 hours, providing a comfortable and efficient mode of transportation to Wai.

Is Wai Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

As a solo traveller, my journey to Wai was delightful and safe. The locals’ warmth and hospitality made my experience memorable, and I encountered no challenges during my stay. Wai stands out as one of the safest destinations I’ve visited in India. Nonetheless, as with any location, it’s wise to exercise caution after sunset to ensure a worry-free exploration of this charming town.

Closing Notes

Wai has captured my heart, ultimately. From its captivating temples to its scenic landscapes and the warm hospitality of its people, every aspect of this town is simply beautiful. I long for the opportunity to return and immerse myself in its charms for an extended period. Wai serves as an enchanting and rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of Pune and Mumbai, offering a tranquil haven where one can truly unwind and appreciate life’s simple pleasures.

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    PIN for later reference – Things to do in Wai

    PIN for later reference - 5 things to do in Wai
    PIN for later reference – Things to do in Wai